Albania aka: ShqiperiaTiranë, Durres, and Butrint. Albania is featured on the lists Directory of Countries, Countries of Europe, and Olympic Games: Some never won Medals!.
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i was here for two months with my best friend, stayed at a family’s apartment (sorry, won’t be of any help for hotels/hostels). what i noticed is that almost all the apartments are the same. they same layout, practically the same sizes (although the albanians are beginning to explore new domestic architecture, post communism in keeping up with the western world).
the customs and a traditions are quite strictly adhered to, although certain areas of albania, mostly central (considered to be populated by more of the “educated”), are more open minded to modern customs. but it is obvious that albanians have a strong sense of culture, and patriotism to rival americans. although i personally don’t see what there is to be very proud of in a country that drowning in poverty, there must be something in it for the people.
my friend and i went out almost every night, and has seen quite the majority of the city. the nightlife is lively, but dies out at about 11 pm (that’s when the last bus comes, correlation anyone?). as another post mentioned, it would be unsafe for a girl to be walking down the street alone anytime after 9 pm. having a male companion is the golden ticket out of the harrassment one would receive on the street by street kids and groups of boys posted along walls and street corners throughout the city. (btw, women who have experienced this dose of albanian treatment will be thankful if they get to go home to a country that respects the rights of women).
going into restaurants, bars of cafes, many of the waiters have some english skills, however, to travel about the city and venture throughout the country, it is recommended to be with someone who is fluent in albanian. you can only survive with one worded commands for so long.
overall, it was a very interesting stay, a different cultural experience, just be prepared to encounter a few vulgarities, little courtesy and lack of customer service along the way . . .over 4 years ago
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